Environmental and economic evaluation of innovative battery technologies

Environmental and economic evaluation of innovative battery technologies

KU Leuven

Leuven, Belgium

A circular economy requires cross-sector cooperation and optimization in order to extend product life times and reduce environmental impact generated during the production, lifetime and disposal. This complexity calls for holistic approaches that take into account the entire value chain, as well as the long term effects, to correctly identify opportunities for improvement and to evaluate different options. Therefore, the research group on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) of the KU Leuven Department of Mechanical Engineering has acquired significant experience with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) to evaluate the complete life cycle of products and processes. The LCE research group is now looking for a motivated colleague with outstanding research skills to realize in-depth LCA and LCC studies of innovative battery technologies for electric vehicles.

Website unit:https://www.mech.kuleuven.be/en/research/LCE

Project

The European Horizon 2020 project Si-DRIVE (Silicon Alloying Anodes for High Energy Density Batteries comprising Lithium Rich Cathodes and Safe Ionic Liquid based Electrolytes for Enhanced High VoltagE Performance) will develop and evaluate innovative battery technologies. Within Si-DRIVE you will be responsible to perform environmental impact and sustainability assessment of the full life cycle of these innovative battery technologies. First you will focus on assessing the sustainability of the materials that are commonly used during production in order to evaluate the impact of substituting critical materials, such as Cobalt, with non-critical dopants. When more information on the novel production processes becomes available throughout the project, the focus of your research will shift to performing continual sustainability assessments along the development of the green production strategies. As existing databases do not contain the data for the production of the innovative cathodic materials studied in the project, you will collaborate with the other project partners to collect this information.

You will moreover expand existing LCA methodologies to account for future upscaling from lab scale to continuous production environments. You will also evaluate the environmental impact of repair, repurposing and recycling for different battery end-of-life scenarios. Next to environmental impact evaluation, you will contribute to life cycle cost evaluation and business model analysis in order to ensure commercial viability of the Si-DRIVE technologies.

To achieve these goals:

  • You independently follow-up literature, patents, company releases, conferences, etc. and use the obtained information in your research.
  • You are responsible for methodological development, for data collection and for applying these for the assessment of the economic and environmental performances of innovative battery technologies for automotive applications.
  • You contribute to the writing of project proposals and the guiding of Master’s students with their thesis work.
  • You report to your supervisors and to academic and industrial partners during project meetings and at international conferences.
  • You publish in international scientific journals and work towards writing a PhD dissertation.

Profile

  • You combine a Master’s in Science, Engineering, or equivalent with a solid background in Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing.
  • You have a profound interest in sustainability and circular economy.
  • You like to work in a multidisciplinary team of international researchers and show willingness to learn/explore innovative technologies and techniques.
    You have a creative mind set, take initiative, and are not afraid to address innovative ideas and new opportunities.
  • You are fluent in English or willing to improve your language skills.

Offer

KU Leuven is among the top European universities. The Life Cycle Engineering group coordinated by Prof. Wim Dewulf, Prof. Joost Duflou, and Dr. Jef Peeters has a long-standing track record in ecodesign, sustainable manufacturing, and recycling systems.

We offer:

  • A research position in a stimulating and multi-disciplinary environment, in close collaboration with industry and European research partners.
  • an attractive salary package, complemented with multiple benefits (health insurance, access to university infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.).
  • the opportunity to participate at international conferences, and to work towards obtaining a PhD degree.

Offer

KU Leuven is among the top European universities. The Life Cycle Engineering group coordinated by Prof. Wim Dewulf, Prof. Joost Duflou, and Dr. Jef Peeters has a long-standing track record in ecodesign, sustainable manufacturing, and recycling systems.

We offer:

  • A research position in a stimulating and multi-disciplinary environment, in close collaboration with industry and European research partners.
  • An attractive salary package, complemented with multiple benefits (health insurance, access to university infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.).
  • The opportunity to participate at international conferences, and to work towards obtaining a PhD degree.

Interested?

For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Wim Dewulf, tel.: +32 16 37 28 81, mail: wim.dewulf@kuleuven.be or Dr. Jef Peeters, tel.: +32 16 32 25 69, mail: jef.peeters@kuleuven.be.
You can apply for this job no later than December 15, 2018 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

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